This one goes out to all the pastors out there. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) Anyway, Martin Luther has written at least a couple prayers that pastors can pray in the sacristy before worship. I've had one such prayer hanging in my study (when I've had a study) for some time as a reminder of the Office to which the Lord has Called me, and we have another copy hanging in the vestry here at St. Peter to pray after I vest and before I make me way into the sanctuary. Anyway, this is one of those prayers.
Lord God, You have appointed me as a Bishop and Pastor in Your Church, but you see how unsuited I am to meet so great and difficult a task. If I had lacked Your help, I would have ruined everything long ago. Therefore, I call upon You: I wish to devote my mouth and my heart to you; I shall teach the people. I myself will learn and ponder diligently upon You Word. Use me as Your instrument -- but do not forsake me, for if ever I should be on my own, I would easily wreck it all.
I decided I wanted to try to put the prayer into verse. This is my first effort. (I also think I'm going to try the same with the other sacristy prayer of Luther with which I am familiar. But for now, here's this one.)
Lord, You Have Called Me to Your Service
1. Lord, You have called me to Your service
To teach Your Church and preach the Word.
I am unworthy of this Office.
I am unfit to serve You, Lord.
Since You have called me all the same,
I call upon Your holy name.
2. It is my glad and greatest pleasure
To consecrate my mind and heart,
That I may serve You in this measure
And to Your saints Your Word impart.
Without Your grace and holy aid
I would allow Your Word to fade.
3. Your Word will be my one companion
To occupy my every thought.
Please use me in Your congregation.
In Your great love, forsake me not.
I pray You, let me not destroy
The means of grace which You employ. Amen.
(c) Alan Kornacki, Jr.
98 98 88
Tune: O DASS ICH TAUSEND ZUNGEN HATTE (KONIG) (LSB 811)